E-Commerce has rapidly become a global trend for business growth as it’s changing the online retail landscape. This modification has sped up the online sales of businesses since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more customers have been driven online while staying in the comfort of their space.
With the roar of e-commerce sales in the multichannel retail industry, various processes like order management, warehouse management, and order fulfillment have been dealing with increased constraints.
2022 is declared to be the first trillion-dollar year for the e-commerce world. So, retailers must prepare themselves to meet the increasing demand for high-quality products/services with systematic and accelerated order management processes.
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Ecommerce Order Management System
An ecommerce Order Management System (OMS) is a software that is used to help in managing and simplifying brand’s online channels to fulfill all the requirements of the customer’s order. It gathers your information across the company and also shields the complete cycle of order to cash, from logging orders to regulating fulfillment and managing invoice.
The ecommerce growth rate worldwide is predicted to be 12.2% for the year 2022, resulting in approx. $5.5 trillion sales globally. In the year 2021, this growth for ecommerce reached 16.3% which represents an acknowledgment of 2020’s growth rate which was 26.4%. The analysts expect this to be the highest year-over-year increase between 2020-2025 and it can be the result of COVID-19.
The imposition of the strict lockdown by the government during this pandemic led to the shutdown of brick-and-mortar stores while customers had to stay home. This directly resulted in the rapid increase in the growth of online retail as people begin to shop online.
Additionally, the global eCommerce sales growth is foreseen at 11% in the year 2023, which is approx. a 1.2% increase from 2022. It is also expected that it may fall to 10% in 2024 and then 9.2% in 2025.
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Ecommerce Order Management Process
The ecommerce operations process includes a series of steps that every business follows for the fulfillment of the customer’s online order.
The common workflow normally involves:
A customer places an order on an e-commerce website, mobile app, or any other medium.
The payment is then verified via a payment gateway.
The OMS system then records and consolidates all the details of the order.
The warehouse accepts the order information from the OMS.
The product is carefully picked, packed, handled, and dispatched.
The order is delivered to the customer at the specified location.
A refund/return can be initiated if the customer receives the product damaged or does not like it.
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Challenges of Ecommerce Retailers in Emerging Markets
Order management has a huge impact on all stages of the supply chain as it directly affects them in a way the customer considers your brand and acts as a center point for providing efficient and flawless multichannel customer service.
Most retailers normally fail to meet the customer demands due to the lack of some useful tools that are required to keep up with consumer expectations.
To meet the customer demands, an effective OMS system is required that helps you in authorizing ideal practice procedures through all phases of a company’s supply chain from e-commerce order management to inventory handling & control, and order fulfillment procedures.
The most common challenges that Ecommerce retailers face in an emerging market are as follows:
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Delay in Delivery
The most common challenge retailers face nowadays is the timely delivery of orders.
Customer demand for same-day delivery is increasing. Many retailers and shipping companies are now looking for technology solutions that can reduce shipping charges at no additional cost to the end customer. Despite the opportunity to gain market share and increase customer satisfaction, brands and retailers are struggling to deliver on their promises.
Sales and returns can be difficult in large businesses that involve a lot of inventory. Order backlogs delay customer order delivery, which makes businesses inefficient. Most customers don’t like to wait, especially when they can find the same product via another online merchant. So, they'll go the other way, costing retailers the sale.
Generally, if a customer doesn’t receive the order within one week of their order placement, they’ll be less likely to shop from you again.
No retailer wants to have an overstock, but backorders can cost you a fortune. To minimize backorders, retailers should take a look at past purchasing patterns to forecast future trends.
These retailers' challenges can be easily resolved with OE. It enables you to book your orders with multiple couriers & record location-specific, courier-wise performance. OE’s machine learning powers allow you to easily select the best and fastest courier which perfectly match each location and reduce your order fulfillment time and cost.
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Non-Accuracy of Real-Time Data & Inventory Management
The most headstrong, and costly issue that retailers normally face is the non-accuracy of real-time data and the unreliability of inventory and order status, which is normally caused due to inefficient demand forecasting.
Those retailers who depend on approximated demand mostly disappoint customers, are unable to meet their demands, bleed profits, and reduce the market share to more cognizant competitors.
Handling these challenges in order monitoring, forecasting accuracy, and order promising, however, is not an easy task.
So, now the question arises how retailers can meet these demand forecasting challenges and enhance their retail sales across all channels?
Let’s find out!
The Omni channel BI solution helps you collect, interpret and prominently illustrate sales, inventory & marketing insights to make certain that you stay ahead of your competitors. It helps you track all orders, packages & their shipping status in actual time while offering an exceptional customer experience too.
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Entire Order Generation and Fulfillment
The order fulfillment process involves various business issues which are commonly linked to managing inventory & the accuracy of multiple processes.
This order fulfillment process can become excessively time-consuming, further leading to the disappointment or loss of customer
Below are the most common order fulfillment challenges retailers face:
Inaccurately filled orders
Sometimes, the customer orders are improperly filled. This inaccuracy mostly occurs when an order is erroneously entered or it might occur during the stages of picking & packing.
Either way, the outcome is a disappointed customer.
Inventory management plays a vital role in the seamless completion of the customer order but if there are recurrent stockouts, especially on high turnover products then you’re likely to face customer loss.
Shipping international orders is even more complex than it seems to be. Retailers have to bear custom charges and some additional costs. Sometimes, an order may be sent back which indicates that you’ll either have to send a newer product or else refund the amount.
Communication is fundamental to efficient and smooth order fulfillment. Retailers often face a failure in communication with:
Suppliers to keep items in stock
Customers to solve their issues
Own personnel to run things effectively and efficiently
This communication gap at any point in the fulfillment process could result in delays and loss of customers.
XStak’s incredibly amazing and proficient product OE enables you to centralize real-time inventory and monitor order status data from all your fulfillment locations, providing clear communication, hence improving your customer service.
Omnichannel e-commerce is very essential as it offers your users a seamless and satisfactory e-commerce experience despite the digital platform they are using. When retailers implement an omnichannel strategy into the Ecommerce order management system, there might be the possibility that the current technology being used can be insufficient for the omnichannel operation.
Recent research has shown that approx. 73% of online shoppers utilize multiple channels while shopping online.
The relevant solution is that retailers should join hands with the appropriate partners like XStak. XStak’s OE helps you provide them the ability to book your orders across multiple local or global couriers, depending on their past experiences, thus eradicating all problems, mismanagement, and delays.
Its incredible Omnichannel engine will assist you to provide a seamless shopping experience for the customers. It’s a cloud-based, apportioned inventory, and multi-channel management system, that assists in automating the multi-retail stores, real-time inventory integration of both offline & online channels, end to end Ecommerce order management from the time a customer places an order using any channel of your company.
Some research has shown that 85% of customers agree on the fact that detailed product information & graphics have a great impact on their decision-making. For this purpose, businesses should provide as many product details as possible on their product detail pages (PDPs) to increase their conversion rates.
An optimized PDP must involve the exact units of available items, shipping choices, total costs, approximate delivery date & time, and customized recommendations for customers. All this data assists customers to get an insight into what to expect from the and answers any of their relevant questions related to their purchases.
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Opt for an OMS with the integration of Omnichannel Capabilities
An up-to-date retailer’s OMS with omnichannel integration can bring various sales channels of a business under one dashboard where you can easily manage, track, and record customer orders.
Like if you’re selling on both eBay & Amazon or any other medium, you’d be able to assemble the data from many sources within an organization to a single source of truth with an aerial perspective of all customer orders.
A good OMS like Omnichannel Engine gathers and reserves the order information into a single centralized source. OE makes it easy for you to monitor and update the availability of your inventory across all the sales channels in actual time.
This would not only help you gain the transparency of the current inventory levels but also assist you in displaying accurate available-to-promise (ATP) stock portions on your retail stores with the availability of inventory storefront API endpoint.
Therefore, businesses should use order management key performance indicators (KPIs) to track, monitor, and analyze the acknowledgment of the whole order management process. By evaluating KPIs, companies would be able to understand the useful ways of enhancing specific processes to increase performance.
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Give Importance To Global Customers
To gain success across international borders, you must establish a payment system that caters to every customer, regardless of their location. It’s quite a risky thought process to expect a customer to do an exchange themselves. You need to minimize the number of steps a user takes to reach the buying point.
Geo filters can be one of the best ways to begin with. It will adjust the prices based on the customer's location when placed properly on the website.
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Associate with The Best Shipping Companies
All your efforts for the smooth e-commerce order process may go in vain if you’ve partnered with an inefficient shipping service.
While searching for the best shipping services, look for these characteristics:
Do necessary audits
Keep a record of all delayed and misplaced packages
Keep tabs with your partnered company
Make sure that all the partners get access to the inventory
Don’t scratch your head, make relevant changes.
Connect your Ecommerce order management system directly with your supplier’s systems. This will not only help you in the prevention of an order being misplaced but also update you about the unavailability of the product.
So, it’s a great deal to allow shopping customers to keep a count on the stock numbers because it gives an impression to the customer that the product is going to run out of stock if they don’t make the decision sooner.
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Streamline the Return & Refund Procedure
Don’t panic in situations where customers want a return or refund. It’s pretty obvious when it's related to the multichannel retail industry.
Returns or refund processes are unavoidable. Recent research has shown that approx. 92% of customers who demand a return of their received products say they are more likely to shop from the same business if the whole process of return or refund is simple and smooth.
If your return and/or refund process is easy & smooth, the customers will probably do business with you. If both the processes are time-consuming and take several weeks, the possibilities are that you may lose the customer forever.
Prefer partnering with those suppliers that accept returns without charging any restocking fee.
In the short term, returns can cost you money, but returned products can easily attract repeat customers.
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Select the right Ecommerce Order Management System for your Business
Give a few minutes of thought to several key attributes that companies should look for in an order management system, ensuring its success across multiple channels:
Smooth integration with other systems
Real-time inventory and order tracking
The ability to scale with your business
Multiple warehouse locations
By automating the manual operations and through a smooth integration process, businesses can easily administer inventory from one central location & get useful real-time insights from sales channels.
Finding the right order management system can be a complicated task for various merchants.
Ecommerce businesses are constantly searching for new ways to fulfill and exceed their customer expectations. Consumers are now anticipating package tracking expertise and receive updates about their orders in transit, new product launches, deals & discounts, via recurring email and SMS services.
These expectations are expected to increase faster in the coming years. To compete, a strong Ecommerce order management system is required that not only keeps up the pace but also innovates with time.
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